Hunting

Bull elk herd (Cervus elaphus) / Leann Wilkins, USFWS

Hunting is one of the priority recreational uses on National Wildlife Refuges and compatible with the mission of this refuge. While enjoying this traditional, recreational activity, hunters help manage these lands for the benefit of wildlife and you.


Currently the refuge conducts two seasonal public hunts annually. Both are controlled hunts which are allowed on a small portion of the refuge in order to minimize disturbance to other wildlife and visitors to the refuge. 

Mourning Dove Hunt:
  • Is permitted on approximately 740 acres during September.
  • In addition to State regulations, the refuge requires hunters to use steel shot and have a refuge permit in their possession. 
  • Hunters are to "self-permit." A nominal user fee may be charged from each hunter.
2014, 3rd Place Duck Stamp artist © Frank Mittelstadt - Canada goose / USFWS
Goose Hunt:   
  • The Refuge's Goose Hunting Season runs from mid-November through mid-December. View the current News Release and the refuge's 2021 Hunting Regulations with the hunt dates and a map of the hunt area.
  • Is an Application process only hunt.   
  • Prospective hunters must submit a completed Application by mid-October of each year. This year the deadline date for the Application is October 15. Hunters that are randomly drawn from the submitted applications will be notified October 18th. Hunters are given one specific day during the hunt season.
  • All permitted hunters are required to obtain their hunting permit one day prior to or the day of their hunt at the refuge headquarters. 
  • Hunters will be assigned one of six hunting blinds. Up to three hunters may apply and hunt together from the same blind. Upon request and approval, a hunter(s) may move to another blind and hunt area if the site and blind are not in use. Hunters are encouraged to bring their own decoys, but may borrow up to two dozen goose shell decoys per blind from refuge staff on the day of their hunt. 

For more information about hunting opportunities, please contact the refuge. Helpful Information: Waterfowl hunting are offered at neighboring McAllister Lake, which is under the jurisdiction of New Mexico Game & Fish.